'Climate Wars' book - ten years on

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Approximately ten years ago, Gwynne Dyer wrote an excellent non-fiction book entitled 'Climate Wars: The fight for survival as the world overheats'. I reviewed that book five years ago, along with other books such as Six Degrees by Mark Lynas and Storms of my Grandchildren’ by James Hansen.

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I want to talk about 'Climate Wars' again because I was reminded about its predictions, last week, when I read that the Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, had spoken of his extreme concern that India and Pakistan were on an inexorable slide towards war, and particularly nuclear war. The current military action in Kashmir had sparked this concern, but there are also ominous long-term trends. Climate change is causing glacier loss that feeds major rivers in the Indian sub-continent, such as the Indus and Brahmaputra. Drought is therefore increasing on these river systems. There is also major drought in Northern India, due to changing weather systems and the loss of groundwater due to over-farming.

After reading the article, I remembered that 'Climate Wars' had predicted these problems and the threat of nuclear war between Pakistan and India. I picked up the book again, now ten-years-old, and read its introduction. It seems more accurate now than it did when I read it. Here is the book's summary of 2045:

SCENARIO ONE: THE YEAR 2045

Average global temperature: 2.8 degrees Celsius higher than 1990.

Global population: 5.8 billion.

Since the final collapse of the European Union in 2036, under the stress of mass migration from the southern to the northern members, the reconfigured Northern Union (France, Benelux, Germany, Scandinavia, Poland and the old Habsburg domains in central Europe) has succeeded in closing its borders to any further refugees from the famine-stricken Mediterranean countries. Italy, south of Rome, has been largely overrun by refugees from even harder-hit North African countries and is no longer part of an organised state, but Spain, Padania (northern Italy) and Turkey have all acquired nuclear weapons and are seeking (with little success) to enforce food sharing on the better-fed countries of northern Europe. Britain, which has managed to make itself just about self-sufficient in food by dint of a great national effort, has withdrawn from the continent and shelters behind its enhanced nuclear deterrent.

Russia, the greatest beneficiary of climate change in terms of food production, is the undisputed great power of Asia. However, the reunification of China after the chaos of the 2020s and 2030s poses a renewed threat to its Siberian borders, for even the much reduced Chinese population of eight hundred million is unable to feed itself from the country's increasingly arid farmland, which was devastated by the decline of rainfall over the North Chinese plain and the collapse of the major river systems.

Southern India is re-emerging as a major regional power, but what used to be northern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh remain swept by famine and anarchy, due to the collapse of the flow in the glacier-fed Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers and the increasingly frequent failure of the monsoon. Japan, like Britain, has withdrawn from its continent and is an island of relative prosperity bristling with nuclear weapons. The population of the Islamic Republic of Arabia, which had risen to forty-million, fell by half in five years after the exhaustion of the giant Ghawar oil field in 2020, and has since halved again due to the exorbitant price of what little food remains available for import from any source.

Uganda's population, 5 million at independence in 1962, reached no million in 2030 before falling back to 30 million, and the majority of the survivors are severely malnourished. Brazil and Argentina still manage to feed themselves, but Mexico has been expelled from the North American Free Trade Area, leaving the United States and Canada with just enough food and water to maintain at least a shadow of their former lifestyles. The Wall along the U.S.—Mexican border is still holding.

Human greenhouse-gas emissions temporarily peaked in 2032, at 47 per cent higher than 1990, due largely to the dwindling oil supply and the Chinese Civil War. However, the release of thousands of megatons of methane and carbon dioxide from the melting permafrost in Arctic Canada, Alaska and Siberia has totally overwhelmed human emissions cuts, and the process has slid beyond human ability to control. The combined total of human and `neo-natural' greenhouse-gas emissions continues to rise rapidly, and the average global temperature at the end of the century is predicted to be 8 or 9 degrees Celsius higher than 1990.

Prognosis: Awful.

The above description does seem more likely than when I read it, five years ago.

For example, Britain's drift into becoming a right-wing, fortress island nation with a disintegrating democracy is well under way. There is even talk at the moment of our duplicitous and amoral Prime Minster invoking the Civil and Contingencies Act, a form of martial law, to make sure that we leave the European Union. He recently suspended Parliament, talked of anyone who disagreed with Brexit as a traitor and generally stoked hostility and division. Also, the construction of the Mexico Wall is accelerating, greater numbers of African refugees are attempting to enter the EU, and meeting with increasing hostility, particularly in Italy. Southern Europe is suffering terrible droughts and forest fires. The only problems I can see in the introduction that aren't already under way are those in China. This may be due to intelligent long-term planning by that country, or simply control of the research into those areas; it's hard to tell. Overall, the trends described in the book are pretty much spot-on.

Many readers may think that the predictions described in 'Climate Wars' are extreme; they may prefer to think that there'll only be a gradual change in our condition on this planet. Unfortunately, history tells us that this is a common mistake. Many people invariably think that sudden, worsening changes will never occur. For example, the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president of the United States was regarded as ridiculous by many people, six months before he did become President. The prospect of a Second World War was regarded as unthinkable by many people in Europe in 1934. Five years later, it was fully underway. People tend to disbelieve that something bad will come soon, often because they don't want it to happen, or because they don't like change. Alternatively, they don't believe the dark prediction because they have an overly-flattering view of human-nature.

In conclusion, I think that 'Climate Wars' is very much a realistic assessment. This is not a great surprise, partly because a lot of its source material was military predictions. The world events of the last ten years, as far as I can tell, have fallen closely in line with its predictions. I therefore think that its long-term predictions are likely to occur. On that topic, I've recently written about the critical need for all of us to begin building very large habitats for our long-term survival on this planet and my motivation to do this has not waned. I'll continue to write on that matter in the foreseeable future.

The dark trap of air conditioning

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There's an excellent article on air conditioning in the Guardian newspaper today, entitled 'The air conditioning trap: how cold air is heating the world'. The article describes the history of air conditioning and how power companies encouraged people to buy power-hungry air conditioners in order to increase their need for electrical power, first pitching them as a glorious luxury, then as a necessity. This problem snow-balled as builders constructed houses and office buildings with little interest in creating a home whose design reduced heat problems. Instead, they just fitted them with air-con. This American invention then spread around the world, making office buildings in hot countries stay at twenty degrees centigrade, even though the native population were at home with thirty degree daily temperatures. It has now reached the point, reports the article, that in a Beijing heatwave, half the power generation is used for air conditioning.

Air conditioning, not surprisingly, is therefore a disaster when it comes to climate change. Not only are fossil fuels being consumed to power these air-conditioners but air-conditioners are also net heat generators. All the heat they remove from a room is simply pumped out the window, along with the waste heat created by running the motor and pump. Cities therefore become doubly hot in heatwaves, as the ambient heat, magnified by concrete, tarmac and glass, is boosted by the air-con heat output. It could all be so different. All we need to do is change how our buildings are designed and a lot of our heat problems could go away. The ground under our feet is always around four degrees in temperate, summer or winter. This is how ground-source heat pumps generate power. We therefore don't even need refrigerators if we live in a house; keeping food in a hole in the ground, one that is protected and insulated and easy to clean, can do the job. We're destroying our environment not because of necessities, but because of luxuries.

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Methane time-bomb short film

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This is another blog article about climate change. To be honest, even my heart sinks when I write another climate change article; it would be great if I didn't have to keep blogging about climate change. Instead, I could talk about fun things like Bill and Ted 3, or things that benefit our immediate lives, like reducing our grain and sugar consumption to help our brains, or understanding how fluoride doesn't help our teeth in the long run, but I can't because nothing is as important as climate change. What's more, it is most definitely worth blogging about, and talking about, because we can all collectively make a difference by changing our lifestyles. We also know how to do it; we simply adopt livestyles in which we burn less fossil fuels. If we do, then we will make a difference and we'll know, at the end of our lives, that we did the right thing. It certainly isn't an easy thing to do, and I think we need to change our mindset to make it work successfully, but It's still absolutely necessary.

For anyone who needs reminding of how grim our future will be if we don't make drastic changes, here's a good short video about the ticking methane bomb.



Some readers may be concerned that beneath the video on YouTube is the comment 'RT is funded wholly or in part by the Russian Government'. This, in truth, is irrelevant, as the science in the video is factually correct, according to a vast number of scientists and my own research on the subject. I wanted to mention this because I am concerned that such an addition to the video's web-page could make some people, particularly in the West, believe that climate change is a false fact cooked up by the Russians. I wonder if the people who instigated these sorts of warnings thought about this consequence?

Domed habitats - a reply to Scientists Warning .org

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This week, ScientistsWarning.org (who I talked about in the previous blog) emailed me and asked if I had anything to contribute to their cause. I don't think they were emailing me specifically, but it seemed a good opportunity to talk to them about our future on this planet, now that climate change is accelerating. I wanted particularly to put forward ideas of how to deal with our stormy future, and how to survive it. Here's my email to them:

Hello,

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Thank you for emailing me, asking for my feedback. Yes, I would like to contribute. I am a writer and illustrator, and I’ve been doing my best, for over a decade, to educate people on the critical issue of climate change. I’ve also tried to combine humour and facts to get the message across. For example, in 2012, I warned about arctic methane and pointed out to readers of my website that the climate would get so bad that we’d all have to end up being troglodytes or cave-dwellers. I came up with the slogan shown.

Unfortunately. I think we are now too far down the climate-catastrophe path for amusing slogans, media campaigns, political lobbying on renewables and suchlike. The tipping points have been passed and it’s clear the fossil-fuel banking system has adopted a ‘business as usual until martial law is declared’ approach.

Instead, I think we need to start planning how some of us are going to survive beyond 2100. The only communities that will survive on Earth in the next century will be ones either living underground or in domed habitats. Therefore, it is vital that we begin a process of making sure that there are domed habitats to move into. Read More...

Richard Manning on catastrophic agriculture

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Here's a very interesting interview with the writer and environmentalist Richard Manning. In the interview, Richard talks at length about agriculture, its historical origins and the effects it's had on the environment, our planet and ourselves. He has lots to say and makes some very good points, especially the fact that agriculture is effectively anti-nature.



Agriculture is a brutal use of the natural environment to create single crops, usually ones that are carbohydrate or starch based. The clearing of land and the ploughing of the soil erodes and denudes the soil, eventually causing dustbowls, run off, desertification and other habitat collapses. Agriculture is also a system which benefits a few (the owners of the grain) and stunts everyone else (the agricultural labourers). Compared to hunter-gatherers, which have a varied and healthy diet, agricultural communities consist mostly of malnourished people crippled by their diet and the back-breaking labour of ploughing, sowing and reaping. As Jim Marrs said in one of his books, no sane humans who switch from hunter-gathering to farming; It's like going from freedom to chained slavery. The only way humans would have made the switch is if they were forced to make the switch.

I don't agree with everything Richard Manning says in the interview. For example, scientific papers in well-regarded journals have pointed out that the extensive and very specific genetic changes required to turn Homo Habilis into Homo Sapiens cannot possibly have occurred in the time-frame stated in the text books. There are only two solutions to solve that conundrum; humans have been around far, far longer than the official figures (currently 200,000 years) or they did not evolve naturally from Homo Habilis. In other words, we are a hybrid creation.

Apart from that, I fully agreed with most of what Richard said and I definitely recommend the video, although you might find it drags a little after the first half hour.

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New article - Predictions of our future and June 2019

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Just a quick note to say that I've added a new article to the anomalies section. This one's entitled; 'Predictions of our future and June 2019'. It investigates what certain groups have told us about our near future on Earth, how closely they link up to each other and how that connects to the scientific evidence. The specific date of June 2019 refers to a recurring dream I've had over the last couple of years. I do try and pay attention to my dreams, whether they're about violence, entering the light or really anything of significance and this recurring dream is no different. I'm very interested to see whether its prediction actually comes about. Then again, if it does, a discussion about dreams will probably be the last thing on everyone's minds! :-)

Alternative 3 - the current situation

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A fortnight ago, I blogged about the very interesting UK ATV 1977 pretend-fact documentary called 'Alternative 3, with its pretend-serious message that the power elite of our world have known for a long time that our planet was heading for global environmental collapse. What's more, they have been planning what to do about it. After much thought, they came up with three alternatives:

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Alternative 1: A drastic reduction in the global, human population.

Alternative 2: The relocation of a fraction of humanity into underground bases and subterranean cities.

Alternative 3: The establishment of human colonies on the Moon and Mars.

In the rest of the previous blog article, I explained that the programme makers of Alternative 3 insisted that it was meant as a fictional programme. I do believe them but in truth, that's unimportant. What's now important is the question; 'Are Alternatives 2 & 3 in that programme actually underway?' Let's investigate… Read More...

Alternative 3 - fact or fiction?

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‘Alternative 3’ was a British television programme broadcast by Anglia Television (ATV) in 1977. It was planned to be broadcast on April 1st that year but due to scheduling problems, was eventually broadcast in June. Its original broadcast date was a big clue to its actual nature. ‘Alternative 3’ was designed and written as a spoof, as a fictional story posing as a serious science documentary.

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The programme begins by investigating a British ‘brain drain’, a mysterious exodus of leading British scientists and engineers who are leaving the country, supposedly to take up lucrative new posts abroad, but are never seen again. Some send back regular postcards but when the relatives try and visit the places abroad where the persons are supposedly living, they discover that their loved one is not living there at all; their correspondence was faked.

The programme then moves into an even more sinister area. Senior scientists in the UK admit to the investigative reporters that mysterious but extremely powerful groups at the top levels of government have worked out that the Earth is heading for a climate collapse due to the greenhouse effect (note that it is in a programme broadcast in 1977). These groups have concluded that in the next century-or-so, only a small fraction of the current human population will be able to live on Earth’s surface, due to the climate collapse. Read More...

Climate change - the canary in the coal mine has just died

I don't report on many events relating to climate change; it would get boring and depressing. I did write recently about climate sceptics and the flaws in their approach but most of the time, I try and keep the articles few in number but interesting.


Unfortunately, I read an article in the Independent at the very beginning of this year which I think is of huge significance. In the article, to quote, 'Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.'

Read More...

Letter to Boris: Electric taxis in London

I thought I'd send a letter to Boris Johnson putting forward the idea of introducing electric taxis in London. Read More...